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Ruth 3:5-6 -

Filial obedience.

Ruth was not Naomi's daughter, yet she acted, and with good reason and great propriety, as though she had been such. What holds good, therefore, of the relationship described in this book holds good, a fortiori , of the relation between parents and children. In modern society the bonds of parental discipline are, especially among the working class, lamentably relaxed. Christian people should, in the interests alike of patriotism and religion, do all they can to strengthen these bonds. The text affords us a beautiful example of filial obedience.

I. MOTIVES to filial obedience. Gratitude should lead the child to obey the parent, to whom he owes so very much. The constraint should be the sweet constraint of love. Reason should lead to the reflection—The parent has experience of human life, in which I am necessarily lacking; is not a parent's judgment far more likely to be sound than is a child's, or even a youth's? Divine legislation commands children to obey their parents. E.g. the fifth commandment, under the old covenant; apostolical admonitions, under the new. The example of the Holy Child, Jesus!

II. The ADVANTAGES of filial obedience. Usually, obvious temporal advantages ensue upon such a course. This is proverbial and unquestionable. The satisfaction of a good conscience is a compensation not to be despised for any sacrifice of personal feeling in this matter. The approval of God is most emphatically pronounced upon those who honor and obey their parents. And this is usually followed by the confidence and admiration of fellow-men.

Lessons:—

1. Expostulate with the disobedient.

2. Encourage the obedient.—T.

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